Are you set to embark on a long road trip? Is your car equipped for the long haul of the trip?
Preparing your car for a road trip does not really necessitate the skills and expertise of a professional car mechanic or demands long hours getting dirty under your car hood.
As a matter of fact, you can implement these do it yourself tips to get your vehicle prepped up for that long trip you have planned. The following tips and safety checks would help you prepare and make all required repairs on your vehicle before the planned date of your road trip.
Inspect windshield wipers and top off windshield washer fluid.
Visibility while driving is very important and your car having a damaged windshield wiper could impair your visibility leading to potentially dangerous driving conditions, especially during turbulent weather.
Before you embark on your road trip, it is highly recommended that you ensure the good, operating condition of your vehicle’s wipers. If necessary, change your vehicle’s wipers, go for heavy-duty winter wipers if there is a likelihood of heavy snowing or ice.
It is also advised to fill your car’s windshield washer reservoir with high-quality, “non-freezing” fluid which especially comes handy during the winter weather.
Test your vehicle defrosters.
Still on visibility, it is very important that your car’s defrosters are working properly, otherwise, ice and snow could build up quite fast on mirrors and windows thus impeding visibility and making for dangerous driving conditions.
Gauge your vehicle tire pressure and check tire treading.
For your road trip, it is important to ensure your vehicle has proper tire pressure as this helps with the maximization of your car’s fuel efficiency as well as the reduction of the risk of tires blowing out during the trip.
Before embarking on your planned road trip, you should check each tire and ensure they are filled to the manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure (as specified in your owner’s manual).
You should also periodically check your tire pressure throughout your trip as tire pressure drops simultaneously with temperature pressure. To accurately tire pressure reading, you should read only after your vehicle has been parked for at least 3 hours.
It is also important you check your car tire treading before your road trip, it is important to have a tire treading at the very least 1/16 of an inch. Lower treading would heighten the risk of hydroplaning and your vehicle’s braking ability as well as traction diminishes.
Stock up on essentials for the trip.
Before embarking on a long road trip, it is very important to pack up a car emergency kit. Your kit should include a flashlight, an ice scraper, a blanket, flares, tow bars, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, jack, abrasive material e.g. kitty or sand litter etc.
A tow bar would come particularly useful in a case where your car breaks down and needs to get towed and Westcott Towbars offer the quality tow bar services.
Apart from your vehicle emergency kit, you should also pack food, necessary medications and a first aid kit and other bespoke items.
Ensure vehicle signals and lights are functioning properly
Before you embark on your road trip, it is equally important to ensure all vehicle signals and lights are in proper working conditions. This includes checks and inspections of your vehicle’s headlights, brake lights, taillights, hazard lights and turn signals.
You should also ensure that they are debris-free, taking the time to clean them as ice, snow, and dirt can affect and impair their effectiveness.
Planning for a road trip takes a lot of planning and it is easy to overlook vehicle care. However, for you to enjoy a safe and successful road trip, it is important that you take care of your vehicle before you put it on the road.
Having implemented these 5 highlighted steps, it is also advised to take your vehicle for a test drive before you embark on the journey proper.
Enjoy your trip!